Click here to read in Gujarati
Today is not a Mother’s Day which is celebrated internationally. But, in my mind, everyday is a Mother’s Day. Dhwani Joshi, a Gujarati Blogger, has expressed her feelings towards her mother in figurative style of narration that the ink of an ink-pot as big as an earth and a sheet of paper as wide as the sky may be deficient to praise the obligations of the mother. But, a mother should qualify herself as an ideal mother while bringing up her offspring. It is the grace of the Almighty Creator that the woman has been favored with the feelings of motherhood by nature. Mothering is not a subject that may need to be taught to mothers, even though we can have the plentiful literature and counseling centers both professional and charitable now-a-days.
But, here in my today’s post, I am going to represent the real story of our senior mother, old mother, first mother, guardian mother; still more optional addressing(s) I can write, but not at all a ‘Step-mother’ as in special case of ours. The word ‘Step’ can’t figure in our vocabulary just to prevent us not to make any injustice to the Late our Malukmaa, the main character of this blog-post. The narration of the merits of our M’maa excessively, here, does not mean that our real mother (biological mother), the Late Noorimaa did not love us. We were equally the heart pieces of our N’maa also. The praise of our M’maa is not for any publicity of her, but is as a model of Step-mothering for all Step-mothers worldwide.
Keeping in my mind the moderate size of the Article, I would like to mention in brief how all we eleven (!) brothers-sisters, born from N’maa, became M’maa’s step-children. M’maa was our father’s first wife and she had given birth to seven children, but not a single could survive hardly more than 2 or 3 years. Lately, my youngest brother, the Late Dr. Alimohmad Musa who was a doctor in U.S.A. and died at age of 41 had judged out the genetic reason that both our M’maa and our father might have been carrying blood defects of Thalasemia Minor (a genetic blood disorder) and all the seven children might have born with Thalasemia Major and hence they could not survive any longer.
Our father remained in grief with this misfortune of childlessness, but he had made up his mind to obey to the will of the Creator. But, M’maa was insistent of having children anyhow and she compelled our father to re-marry at his middle-age and he became bigamy husband. Here, we can see our M’maa’s generosity and preparedness of being an alternate mother of the children that might take birth with our father’s second marriage in future.
Throughout the world in most of communities, it is the established belief that Step-mothers are always evil and cruel towards the step-children. Such relationship is regarded as natural and an unavoidable fact. There may be thousands of Step-mothers like M’maa in the world, but surrounding people will never appreciate their sacrifice because they are labeled as ‘Step’. In fairy tales, literature, TV serials and Movies, the Step-mothers are portrayed as selfish, cruel, unfair and insane women and thus such noble Step-mothers are also misunderstood. Being Step-mother is a very tough job full of frustration, love and pain which is not sharply defined and realized honestly by the people.
Now, I come to parenting style of our M’maa. She was illiterate and had not learnt any lessons of motherhood from anywhere. We all were brought up in her lap under her high ranked nursing. She took our individual care and never allowed us to cry for anything. She rubbed our backs to remove dirt while taking bath. When any of our brother or sister fell sick, she became so much disturbed that sometimes she cried out loudly. She remained in charge of our kitchen for years and tried to satisfy us individually for our tastes and varieties of food. Though she was illiterate, she sat with us when we were doing our school homework. She sometimes told us to read some lessons loudly just to encourage and show us her full interest in our studies
When our father expired in 1957, we were nine brothers and sisters alive. Our youngest sister was two years old and youngest brother Dr. Alimohmad was four years old. After the demise of our father, our M’maa was established as our father in our family. In 1973, our N’maa also died and further for more seven years she remained in double role of both our father and mother and at last she died in 1980 and for the first time, we felt that we had become orphans.
She was credulous (straight forward) by nature but at the same time she had a very sharp intellect also. Psychologists draft various tests to measure IQs of various groups of people. IQ is such a thing which has no concern with education or illiteracy.
We are proud of our M’maa’s IQ. Once she interviewed one of our relative’s son. His half marriage (engagement) was done, but he was not got married. His fiancée was studying in a residential college. Dialogues between both M’maa and the guy were as follows:
“Where is our daughter-in-law studying, my son?”
“At …..” was the reply.
“If I want to visit her college, how can I go?”
“By bus or train, as you like.”
“What are the fares of a bus and a train?”
“So and so; so and so.”
“ How much time does a bus or a train take?”
“So and so hours by bus; so and so hours by train.”
“How could you know all these things, my child?” said she, with meaningful smile on her face.
The last question confused the poor fellow. He was ashamed and remained speechless as if he had swallowed his tongue. Then, in convincing tone of speech and love, she counseled him to maintain social discipline and not to disturb her by paying frequent visits to see her until her study is over and as long as both are got married.
While putting an end of this Article, I remember her last days of her life. She sacrificed her whole life serving and bringing up us-all, but she gave us a very little chance of serving her. She remained sick only for five days and out of which she was in comma for the last two days.
The curtain falling episode of her life, her death was so severe tear-jerker to all of us that about three decades have passed and we still miss her great beyond words.
– Valibhai Musa
January 28, 2009 at 1:22 pm
Hello Mr Musa
It is a good article. I thought it happen only in films but i have seen it live through your story.
Salute to your mother. It indeed proves that the myth of all step mothers being bad is wrong.
January 31, 2009 at 10:31 am
I was very young when M’maa expired and do not have much childhood memory but later I have been told by my parents that she used to look after my all kids-food demands. We should have her photo posted here with this post.
February 1, 2009 at 10:29 pm
I passed my half of life. I came to know we had such a wonderful relative. Religiously, I learned that secrfice always wins. Your story gives me real picture of life in my mind.
February 2, 2009 at 11:23 am
I am proud of being a grand son of M’maa and also witness of all facts that you have mentioned in the Article. I can say that we all brothers-sisters came to know the reality very late at our young age that she was our step grand-maa. We all were very happy to feel that she loved us very much and attended our day-to-day even minor requirements. Specially, I was the luckiest fellow in our family to remain very close to her during the last days of her life. I was her ‘AKUDO’ (a very sweet nick name) and she took care of me all the times.
February 2, 2009 at 2:23 pm
In today’s age of materialistic,hardly we can find humble step-mothers like M’maa.Really I believe it was a very tough job of taking care of 11 step-children.I want photos of two granny and grandpa.I don’t remember any episode from my childhood with Maluk Nani as I was 6 year old when she had died. She played an unbelievable role of real mother being a step mother.
March 11, 2009 at 6:02 am
I liked your Article about your mother which I discussed with my kids also.
I didn’t know we have such a platform to reach all people living in each corner of the world. Whenever I get chance to talk about our village and people, I never loose chance. I always feel proud to be born and grown-up there. Keep spreading good words and works.
June 8, 2010 at 2:39 am
Really, she was our Great Grand Mother.She had special feelings for me that still I feel when I remember her. She taught me One important lesson of maintaining secrecy in my life at the age of 15 that I still maintain and I always remember her as and when that type of occasion occurs.When I was of 15, she one day told me that “Hussainali, I want to tell you about one matter and I have trust upon you that you will keep it secret for ever and she further told me; If you keep secrecy of others than others will same way keep secrecy of yours.If you hide others bad deeds, God will also hide your bad deeds.Further, she told me that always be trustworthy for others in life.” She had a capability to judge the person.Till the age of 50,I always tried to follow the important lessons of the life taught by her and for that I am really very much thankful to her.She is not live, but her ethics and feelings are live and always with us.Thanks God! for giving such type of Great Grand Mother-M’maa.
June 8, 2010 at 3:38 pm
Hey Dada I have frequently heard story of our grand grad mother from you.I have never seen her in real but after reading your article and stories about her which you had told us,I am feeling that she is just beside me and giving me her warmth by keeping her hand on my head.I have really missed the chance to be served by her but I am really a lucky guy having such a great grand grand mother and a grand father like you.
June 8, 2010 at 4:00 pm
Good good, my boy…
A very busy Doctor and spared time!
I feel good to read your Comment.
It was the promise from Malukmaa to me when she was alive that we – all her descendants are going to occupy our place side by side in heaven. It’s not merely adornation of words, but it is the fact. Once, we had, very emotionally, talked in this way as she was a very pious and religious minded woman.
With warm regards,